SIA raises $2b from airplane sale-and-leaseback deals

Singapore Airlines lacks a domestic market and has been hit hard by the virtual halt to international passenger travel.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - Singapore Airlines (SIA) said on Monday (May 3) it had raised about $2 billion through sale-and-leaseback deals for 11 of its planes to help bolster liquidity as it grapples with the pandemic-related plunge in travel.

The airline said it would continue to explore other ways to raise liquidity after reaching deals with four parties over seven Airbus A350-900s and four Boeing 787-10s.

Rivals such as Cathay Pacific Airways and Qantas Airways have done similar deals during the pandemic.

"The additional liquidity from these sale-and-leaseback transactions reinforces our ability to navigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic from a position of strength," SIA chief executive Goh Choon Phong said in a statement.

SIA said it had access to more than $2.1 billion of undrawn credit lines and an option to raise up to $6.2 billion in convertible bonds before its annual meeting in July 2021.

The airline lacks a domestic market and has been hit hard by the virtual halt to international passenger travel because of border controls and quarantine measures.

SIA reported a 99.6 per cent plunge in passenger numbers in April relative to the prior year.

Its shares were trading at $4.96, down 10 cents or two per cent, at 10.21am on Monday, after its latest announcement.